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Things to see and do at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors

Visitors exploring the woodland at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors on a sunny day
Visitors exploring the woodland at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors | © National Trust Images / Trevor Ray Hart

Discover peaceful views of the Peak District on a countryside walk through parkland, ancient woodland and rugged moorland at Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors. Find out what you can see and do here.

Top things to see

There’s lots to see as you wander through the changing landscapes at Longshaw. Discover bubbling streams and tumbling waterfalls at Burbage Brook and Padley Gorge, find moments of quiet reflection at the once-industrious Bole Hill Quarry and Froggatt Wood, and marvel at the natural rock formations of Owler Tor. Longshaw Meadow is a haven for wildlife, while the restored pond offers tranquillity and peace.

Along the Eastern Moors, the famous Curbar Gap enjoys panoramic views over the Derwent Valley from its renowned gritstone edge, surrounded by miles of isolated open moorland. Cross through Big Moor, Totley Moss, Ramsley Moor, Leash Fen, Clod Hall Moor and White Edge Moor to experience the vast landscape of the Peak District.

Walks in the countryside

Longshaw makes an ideal base for exploring the Peak District National Park, with many waymarked routes beginning on the pathway just in front of the Longshaw Lodge. You can either plan your walk using an OS map, or take a photo of the map on the side of the welcome building in the main Woodcroft car park.

Longshaw also makes a great spot for running, jogging and speedy walks to stretch your legs and feel energised all year round.

Family-friendly things to do

There are plenty of things for families to do at Longshaw throughout the year.

Look and listen out for wildlife in the wildflower-rich meadows, at Longshaw Pond, or amongst the ancient woodlands across the estate. Try the orienteering course to see if you can find your way with a map and compass, or if you want to follow a trail, pick one up from the welcome building and spot wildlife along the route.

There are also lots of places to picnic or simply just to relax and take in the nature all around you.

Take a look at our programme of events and activities here .

A pond surrounded by trees in autumn
The pond at Longshaw in Autumn | © Kev Dunnington

Autumn colour at Longshaw

The first blast of colour at Longshaw is the transition from later summer to early autumn when the heather is in full bloom blanketing the moorland around the Estate with a vibrant purple. Enjoy this spectacular sight from the Longshaw café, looking towards Hathersage Moors and Brubage Valley.

Autumn colour is at its most vibrant at Longhsaw in November, as the beach trees around the pond and behind Longshaw Lodge take on rich reds, browns and oranges of the season. Alternatively take a walk around the oak trees across Sheffield Plantation, Padley Gorge, Frogatt Wood and the paths along the Yarncliffe Edge, producing softer browns and reds which at Padley Gorge in particular, contrast beautifully against the mossy green rocks and tree trunks.

History hidden in the landscape

Whilst walking around Longshaw try to spot any oak trees that have enlarged crowns. This is a result of a technique that was practiced before the 1800s when Longshaw was still enclosed common land and involved pegging branches to the ground to increase the size of the tree canopy. This meant that more acorns were produced in autumn and as a result people would come here to fatten their pigs on the acorns. This practice is known as pannage.

During the autumn months bracken will begin to dry out, producing vast swathes of bronze hues across the landscape. In the past, bracken would have been harvested and used as animal bedding and packing material for a variety of products, from roof slates to strawberries.

Woodland pasture restoration

Our woodland pasture work will continue in Autumn. As part of a decade long Woodland Pasture Restoration Project, funded by Natural England, our rangers are managing a programme of woodland work at Longshaw; opening up some glades, felling many Scots pine plantation trees, thinning out other trees and planting native species to help create better habitats for insects and birds. The trees which remain in the woodland will also have more light, water and nutrients, as well as more space, to grow. This work will also help the woodland be better equipped to deal with climate change.

Wildlife highlights

The Eastern Moors and Longshaw are home to a completely wild herd of red deer, the largest land mammal in the UK. The autumn spectacle of the rut starts in mid-September and runs until mid-October. On a calm day you can hear the stags roaring (bolving) on the moors and see mini ruts taking place in some of the woodland areas at Longshaw.

Later in the autumn, depending on weather conditions in Scandinavian countries, migratory birds such as redwing, fieldfares and bramblings will arrive to spend winter here. They will spend time eating berries from the trees across the estate with bramblings particularly enjoying the beech nuts, which we have lots of at Longshaw! Also, our native jays will be out, busy foraging and gathering acorns and hiding them in the landscape.

A red deer stag bellowing among the autumnal bracken at Longshaw, with a view of the open countryside in the background and a bare tree on the left
A red deer stag at Longshaw | © National Trust Images / Adam Kirkland

Fields of fungi

Longshaw Estate is home to hundreds of species of fungi, and autumn is the perfect time to spot these weird and wonderful forms, including some brilliantly named varieties, such as candle snuff fungus, sulphur-tufts and glistening inkcaps.

If you’re out and about finding fungi please only take photographs of them instead of picking or damaging the fungi, as this ensures they have a chance to spore year after year.

Identifying them correctly is a specialist skill often involving microscopic analysis of fungi gills and spores to tell some species apart and at this time of year our ranger teams will be carrying out fungi survey work. Did you know that some fungi only produce fruiting bodies (the bit we see above ground) once every ten years or even more? This makes putting a species list together a long process!

Connect with nature

Take the time to stop and appreciate all the joys and that sense of wellbeing that nature provides when exploring Longshaw. Feel inspired by the blankets of vibrant colour all around you and tune in to the sound of leaves crunching underfoot. The outdoors and being closer to nature gives us that sense of freedom and wonderment, and now more than ever we have turned to nature to help us escape from the everyday. In return we all need to care for our countryside, coasts, woodlands, fields and meadows so that nature can thrive.

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Visitors sitting at picnic benches outside the café at Longshaw, with a view of the moors in the background

Eating and shopping at Longshaw 

Enjoy a brew with a view at the Longshaw Café where you’ll find a range of sandwiches, snacks and drinks, or pop to the second-hand bookshop to discover your next read.

Visitors climbing on a tree in the Owler Tor area of Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Moors, Derbyshire

Family-friendly things to do at Longshaw 

Longshaw Estate, is a stunning backdrop for a family adventure in the great outdoors. Find out about the things you can do with your family, and look out for our seasonal activities throughout the year.

Two climbers sitting at the edge of Bole Hill Quarry At Longshaw, Burbage and the Eastern Mors, with more climbers ascending the rock face in the background

The history of Bole Hill at Longshaw 

Bole Hill is now a quiet corner of Longshaw and a haven for wildlife, but you can still glimpse echoes of the industrial quarry that produced stone for nearby dams in Derbyshire.